Letter: We need the casino
After weeks of anticipation, a House committee recommended defeating the most recent incarnation of an expanded gambling bill which promises to bring a $600 million facility to Salem.
Most residents have seen the lofty plans from Rockingham Park & Millennium Gaming – a gorgeous new facility including a casino, convention center, hotel, spa, 1,500-seat arena and brand new grandstand for the return of live horse racing.
Ironically, it was a Salem representative – Marilinda Garcia – who cast the deciding vote to defeat this venture in her own town (a town which recently saw an overwhelming 81 percent of the voting public cast a ballot in favor of this proposal.) Perhaps Garcia is unaware what the term “representative” actually means.
The dinosaurs in the House are pushing an income tax, despite the fact that multiple polls prove the public does not support such ideas while it does support expanded gambling.
Meanwhile, 40 states now offer some form of legalized slots, with Massachusetts poised to crush New Hampshire’s tourism dollars, lottery sales, and rooms and meals taxes when it opens its casino doors.
Former governor John Lynch’s own gambling commission stated the same in its 2010 report, suggesting losses nearing $100 million annually if New Hampshire does not compete with Massachusetts and open its own casino.
House members have an historic opportunity in front of them tomorrow. They will determine whether to increase our tourism industry exponentially while creating thousands of new, good-paying jobs, or whether to cause massive harm to revenues upon which we sorely rely.
Millennium’s Meadows racetrack and casino in Pennsylvania has brought more than $3 million in new revenue to neighboring businesses in the community.
Don’t believe the fear-mongering about cannibalization of local business; reality paints a very different picture.